So the Germans won the World Cup and once again England was not one of the teams in the last sixteen, let alone the last eight.
It appears that the present idea of picking the best available players is not working. If you look back over previous World Cups, the present way of picking the England team hasn’t really worked since 1966… and we all know that in that special year, West Ham won the World Cup anyway!
This year’s World Cup will be remembered for a few things; probably the most infamous reason will be Suarez again taking a bite out of an opponent, but the football produced some exciting games, some countries taking the football world by surprise, the drama of injury time winning goals, and the excitement of penalty shoot-outs.
The first and foremost target for any country is to win the World Cup. Everyone knows who the 2010 winners were and who they beat in the final, but who can remember who won the third and fourth place play-off game? So maybe the FA needs to think differently. Maybe they have to have a plan (hard for the old codgers to do really but if the present system is not working, then why not try something completely different).
I have my own plan for 2018 and here it is:
Any player that is currently 27-years-old on the day of this year’s World Cup Final should not even be considered to be picked for any future England team. They are out. The reason is that in four years time, they will be 31 and maybe already not playing through injury or they just past their prime with their careers coming to an end. So it’s will be goodbye to Joe Hart, Glen Johnson, Leighton Baines, Steven Gerrard, Gary Cahill, Phil Jagielka, Frank Lampard, Wayne Rooney, Ben Foster and Rickie Lambert- all too old for my new England way of thinking.
What did Steven Gerrard do anyway? At his age, he could not cope with the heat and humidity of playing in a tropical rainforest. He was invisible for long periods of most of the England games, along with several others. One point from our three qualifying group games was pathetic and truly deserving of the abuse they suffered in the press.
By using my ’27 and you’re your out’ way of thinking, we gives ourselves an opportunity to start building a team for 2018 with a group of young players like Jack Wilshire, Daniel Sturridge, Danny Welbeck, Chris Smalling, Jordan Henderson, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Phil Jones, Adam Lallana, Ross Barkley, Raheem Stirling, Fraser Forster and Luke Shaw.
These are young players who can grow into a team. It was no good throwing them together with only a handful of international appearances between them and hoping they would turn into an organised team overnight. It takes time to create a team, to know where a team mate will be and what they will do in the split second that can change a game.
Looking at the present England team, there are currently 12 young players to build the an England team around. The England manager only has to find another 10 young players to add to his squad for the European Championship qualifiers. It’s pointless to start the Euro qualifiers with the same group of old players that failed at the World Cup. If this young England team qualify for the 2016 Euros – great. It will be a great experience going to a major championship. Going as a young team, to live together and having to spend 24 hours together for the length that they are in the tournament, as well as having the pressure of a whole country wanting them to win the competition.
Worst case scenario, they don’t qualify for the Euros, no problems because the main target is to go and win the world Cup in Russia. Every team that does qualify for the European Championship will want to play several pre-tournament internationals and playing England at Wembley Stadium is still a great highlight of most other teams.
They would be queueing up for the chance to come to Wembley and play us. This will also give the young England team another set of games together.
When the World Cup qualifiers come round in 2017, the new young England team will have had two years international experience playing together and be better prepared to start with the World Cup qualification matches. After they qualify (all the country expects them to not only qualify but win the entire thing), this team will now have been together for four years. They will be used to each other; they should hopefully be competition experienced from the Euros and ready to make a serious challenge for the ultimate prize in world football.
The majority of the young player’s should have experience of playing European football for their clubs in the Champions League. Hopefully there will be a few young Hammers coming up that can be included in future England plans but I’m not familiar with our youth and development squad players.
Another thing I would change would be that any player picked to represent England, would not be paid a single penny. They would still get the nice suit, stay in some of the world’s best hotels and also receive all the training gear the sponsors want to give them, but they should not be paid to play for their country.
With playing for England, the lucrative commercial deals will follow the player. And the more success England achieve, the greater the financial rewards. Why give a player who is earning £150,000-a-week more money just to turn up and pull on an England shirt?
It should be every player’s ultimate desire to play for their country, to be able to say “I am the best in the country at my position.”
Let me know your thoughts on my new approach to my new England.